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Which Home is Right For You? Comparing Timber-Framed, SIPs and Transportable Homes

Updated: Aug 11, 2023


 

Wellington Builders | Design & Architecture Services | Eco-Friendly Design | High Performing Home | Structural Insulated Panels | Energy-Efficient Home

 
Different types of model homes with a magnifying glass in front

Are you planning to build a home but struggling to work out which option is best for you?


Timber homes are a classic choice, but SIP homes are becoming more and more popular in New Zealand because they're super energy efficient.


Plus, have you considered a SIP transportable home? These homes are built in a factory and then trucked to your site, which makes them the quickest option. They also leave a much smaller carbon footprint because no earthworks are needed.


Each option has its own upsides and downsides, so it's important to make a smart decision.


That's where the Green Abode team comes in! We've put together a handy table that compares the pros and cons of each option. So let's take a look and figure out which one is right for you!







Traditional Timber Home

SIP Home

SIP Transportable Home

Design Time

Approx 3-6 months

Approx 3-6 months

N/A (pre-designed; the client just needs to select colours, etc)

Length of Build Time

6-9 months if no delays (ie materials, weather, etc)

6-9 months if no delays (ie materials, weather, etc)

16 weeks to build in factory, followed by another week for on-site connections.

Resource Consents

Required if you make any changes to land use such as:

· Zoning

· Lot sizes

· Site coverage

· Distance from neighbours

· Earthquake risks

· Sub-dividing


We recommend discussing with your local Council to see whether Resource Consent is required.

Required if you make any changes to land use such as:

· Zoning

· Lot sizes

· Site coverage

· Distance from neighbours

· Earthquake risks

· Sub-dividing


We recommend discussing with your local Council to see whether Resource Consent is required.

Your local city council will advise whether your transportable home requires a resource consent.

​Building Consents

​Any new build requires a building consent. All Councils allow 20 working days to process but this timeframe is paused if they request more information.

(You will have 2 years to start the project from the date consent is given.)


We suggest adding a buffer of 2 weeks, just in case.

Any new build requires a building consent. All Councils allow 20 working days to process but this timeframe is paused if they request more information.

(You will have 2 years to start the project from the date consent is given.)


We suggest adding a buffer of 2 weeks, just in case.

You will need a building consent from the Council where the transportable is being built (the builder should be able to provide this) and a separate one for siting, foundation, and associated services in the new location.

​Cost

​Around $3,500 - $4,500 per square metre although a high spec home can cost over $7,000 per square metre.

Starts from $4,500 per square metre and can easily go up to $7,000 or more depending on the level of finishings.

​Between $450,000 to $800,000 dependent on bedrooms and number of bathrooms.

​Process

· Concept design

· Detailed design

· Preliminary design

· Any additional reports are undertaken as needed

· Sign contract

· Pay deposit

· Construction commences.


Upon completion, Code of Compliance application is submitted

· Concept design

· Detailed design

· Preliminary design

· Any additional reports are undertaken as needed

· Sign contract

· Pay deposit

· Construction commences.


Upon completion, Code of Compliance application is submitted

​· Select module type.

· Select options and decide on any upgrades.

· Sign contract

· Pay deposit

· Construction commences.

· Upon completion of building, house is transported to site.

· On-site connections are made


Upon completion, Code of Compliance application is submitted.

Delivery process

N/A

​The builder will arrange for delivery of the SIP panels to the site by truck. They will liaise with the owner regarding access and timing.

​Once the house is built in the factory, the builder will arrange for a moving company to transport the house on the back of a truck to the new location.

The builder should arrange for insurance while the building is in transit and will work with the owner regarding access and timing.

​Bank approval

​20% deposit in most cases

20% deposit in most cases

Unfortunately, Banks do not look favourably on lending for transportable homes so you will most likely need to come up with the full funds yourself.

​R Values

Roof = R6.6

Walls start from R2.0

​Roof = R7.2

Walls range between R2.8 – R8.6

​Roof = R6.9

Walls range between R2.8 to R4.3

​Customizable

Yes

Yes

Partially

Other things to consider

A site/topographic survey is required before architectural design can take place.


A geo-tech report will be needed to check the ground conditions of the site. This can take 4-6 weeks to prepare. You may also need to employ a Structural Engineer for foundation design, which can take an additional 4-6 weeks.

​A site/topographic survey is required before architectural design can take place.


A geo-tech report will be needed to check the ground conditions of the site. This can take 4-6 weeks to prepare. You may also need to employ a Structural Engineer for foundation design, which can take an additional 4-6 weeks


If you are planning to go off-grid, then you may also want to consider solar panels, rainwater collection, a composting sewerage system and greywater recycling.

Upgrades such as solar panels, custom wardrobes, tiled showers, underfloor heating, ramp access and recycled rimu flooring will be an additional cost to the quoted price.


To sum up, deciding on the type of home you want is a huge decision that requires careful thought about many different factors. We've compared the good and not-so-good things about timber-framed, SIPs and transportable homes so that you can make an informed choice.


Each type of build has its pros and cons, so the final decision should depend on what you need, how much you can spend, and your personal preferences.


Green Abode builds both environmentally friendly, energy-efficient SIP and transportable homes, and our sister company, Orkney Group, builds timber-framed homes. So, whichever option you choose, we can help you! To discuss any of these options with us in more detail, please contact us.

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